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Hold this skein on your hands, while I wind it,

ready for knitting ; Then who knows but hereafter, when fashions

have changed and the manners, Fathers may talk to their sons of the good old

times of John Alden!” Thus, with a jest and a laugh, the skein on

his hands she adjusted, He sitting awkwardly there, with his arms ex

tended before him, She standing graceful, erect, and winding the

thread from his fingers, Sometimes chiding a little his clumsy man

ner of bolding, Sometimes touching his hands, as she disentan

gled expertly Twist or knot in the yarn, unawares - for how

could she help it ? Sending electrical thrills through every nerve

in his body.

Lo! in the midst of this scene, a breathless

messenger entered, Bringing in hurry and heat the terrible news

from the village. Yes; Miles Standish was dead ! an Indian

had brought them the tidings, – Slain by a poisoned arrow, shot down in the

front of the battle, Into an ambush beguiled, cut off with the

whole of his forces ; All the town would be burned, and all the peo

ple be murdered } Such were the tidings of evil that burst on the

hearts of the hearers. Silent and statue-like stood Priscilla, her face

looking backward Still at the face of the speaker, her arms up

lifted in horror; But John Alden, upstarting, as if the barb of

the arrow

Piercing the heart of his friend had struck his

own, and had sundered

Once and for ever the bonds that held him

bound as a captive, Wild with excess of sensation, the awful delight

of his freedom, Mingled with pain and regret, unconscious of

what he was doing, Clasped, almost with a groan, the motionless

form of Priscilla, Pressing her close to his heart, as for ever his

own, and exclaiming : “ Those whom the Lord hath united, let no

man put them asunder!”

Even as rivulets twain, from distant and

separate sources, Seeing each other afar, as they leap from the

rocks, and pursuing Each one its devious path, but drawing nearer

and nearer,

Rush together at last, at their trysting-place in

the forest : So these lives that had run thus far in separate

channels, Coming in sight of each other, then swerving

and flowing asunder, Parted by barriers strong, but drawing nearer

and nearer,

Rushed together at last, and one was lost in the

other.

IX.

THE WEDDING-DAY.

FORTH from the curtain of clouds, from the

tent of purple and scarlet, Issued the sun, the great High-Priest, in his

garments resplendent, Holiness unto the Lord, in letters of light, on

his forehead, Round the hem of his robe the golden bells and

pomegranates. Blessing the world he came, and the bars of

vapor beneath him Gleamed like a grate of brass, and the sea at

his feet was a laver !

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